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The Communicators

Rep. Joe Bartow (R-Texas) News/Business. (2012) Congressional Privacy Caucus Co-Chairman Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) discusses how Congress is dealing with electronic privacy issues. New.

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America 5, Barton 3, Usf 3, Us 3, Arlington 2, Romney 2, Markey 2, Dingell 1, Waxman 1, Howard Buster 1, John D. Waxman 1, Joe Barton 1, Jack 1, Mcconnell 1, Kepteen Felhelpful 1, Annette 1, Tom Bliley 1, Jankowski 1, John De Villiers 1, Theairma Fcc 1,
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  CSPAN    The Communicators    Rep. Joe Bartow (R-Texas)  News/Business.  (2012)  
   Congressional Privacy Caucus Co-Chairman Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas)...  

    September 15, 2012
    6:30 - 7:00pm EDT  

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our futurei hope you will do the right thing, sir, and work with us to eliminate this threat so we can confront the great threats of freedom around the globe, to listen to our allies. it is because of these threats that america must continue to fund its military and support its armed forces to the fullest extent. the lives of all americans depend on it as to the memories of and battery -- of ambassador christi this and the serviceman who perished with him this week in the middle east. please take a moment this week and to pray for their loved ones and for the brave warriors of our armed forces, the men and women, my brothers in arms who stay steadfast and loyal. >> joining us this week on "the communicators," former chairman of the energy and commerce committee and currently co-chair of the congressional piracy caucus.
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representative barton, in the few days and in the lame duck session of the 112 congress, do you foresee any action on the issues of privacy? >> i have asked the chair of the commerce committee -- i don't have a commitment from him, but that bill is a possible, especially in the lame duck then in the regular session. we probably won't have that many more legislative days. if we have one bill, that is the one i have asked the chairman to consider moving. >> would you like to see more comprehensive privacy legislation passed by congress? >> i would. i think the public is ahead of the congress on privacy. i think that companies like
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microsoft and some of those guys are ahead. they are building in the fall positions to have more and more privacy. but in the congress, we're still a bit behind of the curve. although, we have gained a lot of ground in this congress. our privacy caucus in the house, subcommittee chairman markey has cochaired with me, a republican and democrat. we have 30 members. so it does not quite to 10% of the house. so that is a sizable number, bipartisan, have to have, have republican and half democrat. >> let me ask a question about privacy. i think that is an issue you have been very involved in. tell me why that issue has resonated with you. >> we have the tea party now and they are really big on a strict
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interpretation of the constitution. but i was tea party before there was a tea party and i think the fourth amendment can be construed to be a privacy amendment. i strongly think that the privacy protections that our founders to grounded in the internet and telecommunication age, you cannot take for granted. need legislation to make it happen. the short answer is i just feel really strongly that the information about yourself is yours unless there is a law enforcement with public good reason to go around that privacy screen. >> we just commemorated the 11th anniversary of the september 11
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attacks. public safety looks like it will finally get a broadband network, the first approved by congress in february. are you satisfied where things are now as far as first responder communications? this morning to be done? what do you think is the status right now? >> it should not have taken 10 years to really get it going. but i do think the new law that we passed that has resulted in this first net is conceptually excellent. i think the proof is in the pudding and the board has not met yet. they don't meet until september 25, the first board meeting. if everything works like this supposed to, hopefully, within four or five years, we will have an inoperable first responder throw the country.
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>> i potentially have a lot of questions. let's see what they do. but if they follow the law and they don't have a lot of bureaucracy about giving the networks up and running, i will be fine with it. >> another time the issue, the republican platform that was approved at the convention puts an unusual amount of emphasis on internet freedom, spectrum -- it was much more detailed than some of the previous platforms. how does that bode for the romney administration if governor romney is elected in the fall? >> first of all, you have to win the election. [laughter] i am one of the original supporters of what you said is
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internet freedom. the net neutrality that the f c c has promulgated -- i think that is more than sufficient. i go back to the tender 15 years ago, to the energy and commerce committee where chris cox, who chairman of theairma fcc, we put in a law that you cannot tax the internet. more information, more accessible, more transparent is better for democracy. i have nine steadied the republican platform, but if it is would you say it is, i -- i have not studied the republican
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platform, but if it is what you say it is, i think that is a good thing. >> do you foresee action on potentially taxing? >> i think there is an issue. if you have a sales tax in a state, the brick and mortar store collects a sales tax on a transaction in the store. the same consumer, if he buys the same product or the internet, it is not a sure thing that there will be a sales tax collected. i think that is an issue where people like me who don't want any taxation of the internet could reasonably support the collection of a local sales tax. but other than that, i am still no transaction tax, no user tax
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just to get on the internet. >> what about reallocating to the usf, from telephones to broadband? >> i am very much supportive of true universal service reform. including abolishing the universal service fund. in the 1930's, you had to have something like a universal service fund to get telephone service into rural america, that is a totally different america than the america today where almost everybody in the country has a cell phone or an iphone or nicad and we have multiple service providers in the -- or an ipad and we have multiple service providers in the network. i see no real reason for the universal service fund as it was
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originally construed. and it is debatable if you need it at all. i am understand those that represent rural districts that want to use universal service fund to get broadband into their areas. when the issue came up last time in the energy and commerce committee, then congressman now senator roy blunt of missouri offered some amendments to require that, if you will do broadband universal service fund, they provided to underserved areas and that amendment was defeated. to my mind, it does show a bit of the hypocrisy of the concept. >> the communications at those require the fcc to have the usf.
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is that something you would favor changing the law to address that issue? >> possible. again, i don't to regurgitate, that reasonable people can debate whether we need a universal service fund 70 years ago. the affirmative won the case then maybe it was necessary. you have a tough time making the case today. if you choose to live in some remote area, you don't have an entitlement to broadband. you don't have an entitlement. you might argue that you need a lan line telephone -- as land line telephone, prior to wireless. but i don't think you can make that argument to the usf to broadband for rural areas. it is not a necessity.
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it is a nice city. -- it is a nicety. from a performance standpoint, i would say that progress is being made the. >> and the new text then you came up with when they started talking about contribution reform, a commissioner had been urging to move to contribution reform which would broaden -- >> anything toward reform i am supportive of. it is the political support in rural, especially in the senate, where you have two senators for each state and come if you come from a largely rural state, it is a tough thing to get real reform through the senate. >> i want to return to privacy and i want to talk about social media.
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does your do-not-track-kids a bill -- is that centered around social media and why just the children? one not adults as well? >> this is one of your questions about the comprehensive privacy bill. it could be easier -- could be any easier political possibility, protecting children. there is not any republican or democrat or a subset of the caucuses that does not want to protect the privacy of children on the internet. it is a no-brainer. so congressman markey and i chose children's privacy because we thought that would be the way to get the ball rolling to a bigger bill. as i said, there is still a chance we can do that children's
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privacy bill in a lame duck session of this congress. it is not a done deal, but it is a possibility. beyou don't think it will hard to get to the house and to the president's desk. >> in a normal sense, yes, but when there's really no controversy, once you get on the tract, that is the kind of bill that can move very quickly and could be done very quickly. i am not saying it will be, but it certainly could be. >> you mentioned net to keep -- annette neutrality and internet freedom. the net neutrality order imposed by the fcc in 2010 -- >> i voted to repeal it. >> you have not been above expressing your displeasure with that. the fcc said this week that it kepteen felhelpful and has the internet free.
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you disagree with that. >> how hard is it too pat yourself on the back? credibility inh their patting themselves on the back. i don't think they have done much harm with it, but i don't think it is necessary. i don't think it has done any good. i could appoint an example of something that was not done -- i couldn't point to an example of something that was not done. >> do you think there will be more efforts to overturn that? >> it depends on who wins the election appeared >> you think that is something the romney administration would revoke? >> if you have a republican house and republican senate and a republican president -- i have not checked with chairman upton, but i think it would be reasonable to say to move a repeal bill and the senator
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mcconnell would be favorable and president romney would be favorable. but again, when you don't count your legislative victories before you have selected victories in november. we respect the will of the people to make those decisions. >> representative barton, next week, we will be talking with the sec about apps and the new guidelines when it comes to privacy. our guidelines enough when it comes to protecting privacy where would you favor a more -- >> i would favor a more definitive legislative statutory approach. but i am not opposed to what these guidelines are. i think that with the ftc has done very well, in trying to do within their scope, as much as
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they could for privacy. i am not-on what the ftc has done at all. >> what is your grave for fcc chairman jankowski? >> he is very intelligent, very hard-working. i think he does his homework. i don't agree with his philosophy. i think it is too regulatory. i think he is trying to stretch some of these older laws in ways that fit a political purpose, president obama, who he is very close to personally. so i do not agree with his philosophy. but in terms of intellect and integrity, i have a very high opinion of him. >> as a member of the energy and commerce committee, have you had
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much interaction with the chairman other than just a hearing -- has he been a to see you? >> he is available and accessible. he has been down to visit me several times. we have had several phone conversations. he and the other commissioners have always been willing to visit with me when necessary. i don't abuse that. this is not a telecommunications congress. the committee has done a number of hearings and moving what could be moved and doing things on the various sides of the industry. but this congress is not telecommunications. >> a couple of years ago, there was they talk about it telecom act rewrite. there was a lot of focus on that. we're not hearing much about that right now. what forces are out there?
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is there anything that has really engaged congress on that? >> there is no crisis. the reform act is 1996. that is a number of years ago. most of the players in that subcommittee chairman jack fields, tom bliley, and john de villiers still there and john d. waxman are still there. but most of the principles have retired. and the industry is significantly different. for all intents and purposes, there was not an internet in 1996, to speak of. and cellphone were big boxes, big box phones and stuff. the ipad was delayed figment of somebody's imagination.
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-- was still a figment of somebody's imagination. there is nobody in america that doesn't have some sort of a mobile home cook -- mobile telecommunications adevice if they want them. when there are more cellular phones then there are hard line phones, the world has changed. you can make a strong intellectual case that we need to have a revisit on all of the telecommunications acts. we are still functioning in regulatory laws from the 1930's. >> it took a long time to get an energy tunnel through. finally, something that pass. but everything had changed in the industry and had dealt with a whole bunch of different issues. how hard is it for congress to hit a moving target like telecom and two legislation that might in the end do more harm
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than good? >> it is difficult and it is supposed to be difficult. but it is not impossible. what you really need is some sense of commonality across the political spectrum of what the problems are so they knew can work on solutions. when the country identifies a problem -- liberals in california are on the same page as conservatives in texas -- congress can find a time to deal. what we have in this congress, not just in telecommunications but on all issues, we don't agree on problem identification. most democrats don't think spending is a problem. those republicans on the health care issue, the obama administration and people like
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congressman waxman and dingell in the house, they really want a universal coverage. republicans did not think that coverage was a big issue. we thought cost was. if you want -- if you don't have problem identification, you will not have a solution. when a country gets consensus, then the congress can get consensus. the next congress, on some of the bigger social issues, we almost have to begin to try to define solutions. on telecommunications, it is not a crisis, but you can make a related case that this is the time to reform some of the basic structure. >> when it comes to another issue that has been out there for the past year, cyber security, bring us up-to-date on your thought process and what you think of the president and perhaps doing an executive
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order. >> cyber security, i give the intelligence committee in the house, my car is a mission has done a good job in trying to identify the missing the representative from michigan has done a good job trying to identify the problem. i think that is one reason the bill has not gone anywhere in the senate. if we can address some of these privacy issues, we need to do a cyber security bill. i think it is problematic to get done in this congress. but i hope we can build on what has been done and get something done in the next congress. drexel wanted to ask about spectrum, which is a big issue -- >> i wanted to ask about spectrum, which is a big issue.
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there is a plan to try to get 500 megahertz of new spectrum for wireless broadband in 10 years. but there has been relatively little progress on that. what kind of report card would to give the administration right now as far as how they are identical -- how they are identifying and making more spectrum available for wireless broadband? >> i would give them an incomplete. the fact that they acknowledge that something needs to be done is a good thing. as you well know, people who have spectrum, regardless of how efficiently they're using it, they seldom want to give it up, whether aid is in the private sector or the public sector. and then trying to get an agreement on how to auction off for allocate how it is used is never easy because it is such a valuable commodity that the people that want to use it tried
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to position themselves, both in the marketplace and politically and they get first choice. it is not an easy thing to do. the good news is that the market, what spectrum it has come is depriving lots of products and choices for american consumers to use -- which spectrum it has, is really providing lots of products and choices for american consumers to use. >> broadcasters will have a chance to fill some of their airwaves. do you think that will be very successful in getting spectrum? >> i don't even want to speculate. that is a tough one. the traditional broadcast market
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at the local level has probably had a tougher time of it than almost anybody in the telecommunications industry in the last 10 or 15 years. i think that will be a purely economic decision on a case by case basis. its local station decides whether it is better to keep it and try to get value out of current or future uses or whether to let it go and monetize that. i just cannot speculate. >> what about the government ownership or management of spectrum and not putting that into play as well? >> almost by definition, you would assume the spectrum that government uses is the least efficiently use because the government -- because, for the government, it is a free good. with the best of intentions, not
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allocated in the most efficient fashion. more of the reality of the political situation, the various agencies at the time of that allocation -- i don't have a solution on how to reallocate it and repair ties its use. but, at some point in time, that almost inevitably has to have them pierre >> finally, congressman barton, i wanted to ask about domestic drones. is that something that the privacy coppices concern with the? >> they are so new -- the privacy caucus is concerned with? >> they are so new. the licenses so restrictive that it is merely being thrown in a field.
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i see both sides of it. i see real law enforcement capability and going after traffic violators and drug dealers and things like that. but on the other hand, too, i can see real privacy issues that need to be addressed. what is i -- what is ironic about the drones is that the city of arlington, the police department has a license that is so restrictive that they basically cannot use it. but i can go to a hobby store in arlington and by a drone with almost no restrictions on what i use it for. i could fly it over to my neighbor's backyard and around as long as i don't violate some public access, like the it w. airport or something like that.
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-- like dfw airport or something like that. we have to figure out a way to use them, but we will have to put reasonable restrictions so that we do protect people's privacy. >> joe barton is a congressman. he is here with howard buster, so sick and manager -- and beating manager -- and editing manager. >> search is interesting. we do a quarter of a billion query's a day and we're not trying. the vast majority of it is people trying to find people. but there is a meaningful and portion of querries our people are trying to find ran pages and business pages and some link to
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commercial behavior. i think there is a big opportunity there at some point and we need to go do that. it is going in an interesting direction been the legacy around searches that you have search engines like google and bing and you type in key words and the search engine runs some magic to tell you what it thinks the answer is that matches your keyword. but i think they are really involving -- really evolving to giving you a set of answers. not show me some relevance of, but i have a specific question. when you think about it from that perspective, facebook is pretty neatly position to answer the questions that people have. what sushi restaurants have my friends want to in new york in the past six months and like it? which friends or friends of friends were getting a company that i amnt

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